In one of my favorite exercises that are conducted at its training guru of time management, it is proposed intuitively (i.e. without mathematical calculations) to estimate the number of hours that you have in stock until the end of life. The result of this exercise is very sobering: the vast majority of people this figure exaggerates, sometimes by 10-25% — which indicates how much we overestimate the resources we have and how clumsy plan their time. However, according to the same experts, is to begin to apply simple techniques of time management, how your life will change beyond recognition.
1. DETERMINE YOUR DESIRES AND GOALS
Before you learn specific time management tools, it is important to understand what are you wasting this valuable resource. For what you spend a weekend in the office, why learn English, why do you need to workout at the gym, whether you are interested in the profession that you are which year of master? This advice may seem incredibly simple, but in practice to formulate their own desires, turn them into intentions and objectives can be difficult — often we seem to live by inertia, without thinking about what you really want, in the end fill your life with work over imposed, random desires, and — not surprisingly — don’t work too hard over their execution. Psychologists recommend the practice of visualization: to understand what it is you want, close your eyes and imagine yourself, in just five to seven years. Try to feel their state of happiness and life satisfaction… and then ask yourself: what do you do? What do you do? What do you do in your free time? Where do you live? How to look? The answers to these questions — it is your goals; making them, you go to the proper planning time.
2. CAREFULLY PLAN
Time management is impossible without planning — as a rule, failure to meet the deadlines and delays are not associated with laziness or lack of motivation, and lack of planning. At the same time trying to learn two foreign languages, complete responsible project at work and lose about 10 pounds, we are trying to grasp the immensity — and in the end do not have time, tired, rip off the timing and throw half the cases halfway. To the achievement of the goal was a disappointment, determine priorities and set realistic deadlines for each task in the day, sadly, just 24 hours.
3. Get enough SLEEP
Advice as old as the world, but no less relevant: the cause of chronic fatigue, tardiness and failure to plan often is banal lack of sleep. So a mandatory step on the path to time management should be an iron rule: 8 hours of sleep a night during the month — that will be enough to bring relaxation a habit. Time to close the laptop, put the conversations in social networks, turn off the phone and TV and give the body the opportunity to sleep properly — he will thank you quick response, good memory and a clear conscience.
4. SET YOUR PRIORITIES
Particularly relevant to this Council in the situation where a force majeure is replaced by another, and the list seems endless. In such cases, it may be useful matrix that categorizes all the tasks depending on the urgency and importance: draw a square and divide it into four parts; the first sector is dedicated to the task important and urgent — they should start first. Case “urgent but unimportant” are in the second place, for “important but not urgent” is to allocate a certain amount of time regularly, and “not urgent and not important” cases can be safely postponed.
5. LEARN NOT TO POSTPONE THE CASE UNTIL LATER
Usually procrastinating (or, as is now fashionable to say, procrastinating) we are forced or unpleasant or too large: for them are simply afraid or too lazy to take on — because we’ve put off an important phone call, but such a difficult client, will not dare to start work on a major project and shift from place to place documents that are already a month require our attention. The famous expert in time management by Gleb Arkhangelsky in his book recommends to unpleasant matters to be treated as “frogs”, which certainly need to “eat for Breakfast” — that is, to deal with them in the first place: it saves you from constant feelings of anxiety over work not done. As for major cases, Arkhangelsk advised to treat them as elephants, which should “eat the pieces”, every day, including in my schedule a large or even a tiny “piece of the elephant”.
6. DON’T BE AFRAID TO ASK FOR HELP
Or, in business language, often delegate. It is known that from the inability to plan the time and chronic time pressure suffer often perfectionists who believe that no one is able to cope with the work better than themselves, and therefore always overloaded, tired and nothing is successful. Think of your household chores can be delegated to other family members and what tasks can be connected downstream (if you have them): should husband take on washing dishes, and someone from the staff — drawing up of contracts, as you will immediately see an additional couple of hours in the day.
7. ELIMINATE “TIME SINKS”
Or at least reset them to their limit. For the sake of the experiment daily and record in a diary the number of minutes spent on mindless reading social media posts, discussing gossip with boring people or view not too informative TV show. The result may surprise you: as a rule, we underestimate the power of your habits and notice how ruthless the time sinks are depriving us of precious minutes and even hours. The best way to control them is to put tight constraints (e.g., no more than 30 minutes in social media every day).